You've managed to get through the door with said child, parenting paraphenalia and shopping. You place your order, sit down and then inevitably your small child, wakes up / breaks something / starts running around / starts screaming / doesn't want to eat what you've paid for / wants to eat what you've got for yourself instead*.
Your well earned tea break suddenly got very stressful. And that's the end of the shopping trip (probably). No one wins.
Imagine taking that break instead, in a well designed and aesthetically joyful space, where your child can play, and you get chance to recharge with a decent brew and a sit down knowing they're safe and happy - and that everyone in that cafe is in the same boat as you.
Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes will be a roarsome play cafe with built in event space in York city centre. It will be somewhere both children AND their adults actively enjoy visiting.
It’s an idea driven by two local mums: Amy and Zoe; who are determined to make parenting less lonely and make playtime more interesting for everyone.
* delete as appropriate.
You know that moment in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory where they all go into the chocolate river room?
This is our inspiration for the reaction we want to get when children see our dinosaur themed playscape for the first time. We want it to set their imaginations on fire!
We also want the space to be a haven for their adult carers who, with a fair wind and a lot of luck will be able to enjoy their drink while it's still hot :-)
We both have children under five and know how valuable this is!
After much searching, we've found a brilliant premises in York city centre that we're in the process of securing - we'll post updates on this during the course of this campaign.
The money raised from this Crowdfunder project will be used to pay for an incredible play area, designed and built by the specialist team over at Tigerplay whom we believe are the right people to deliver our version of pure imagination.
We've already had some mock ups done of what this could look like:
This will be the ONLY dedicated indoor play cafe accessible to people in York city centre without a car. This is crucial in an area where the weather isn’t reliable and there are more outdoor activities than indoor ones. Many of the cafes within the city centre are not well equipped to deal with parents with small children. Every inch of our play cafe will be designed to be practical for the modern parent.
As parents, some of us have come to dread going to soft play centres. We are creating a space with both children and adults enjoyment in mind. This means a well designed and aesthetically joyful space with a menu to match. Additionally we would be able to deliver a fantastic quality and stress free birthday party experience in our event space.
Being a parent can be lonely, boring and stressful, there is very little being done to address this outside of us as individuals being confident enough to reach out for new friends and support. There will be a major focus on bringing people together to help each other within our space to form new friendships.
We are Amy Shannon and Zoe Paterson. We met when a mutual friend set us up on a blind date after we moved to York from London with our respective husbands and were feeling a bit lost and without a tribe to hang out with.
We became great friends, and after much discussion, started Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes in summer 2018. We've been running regular stay and play events in York since then to prove we can work together and do this, and to get a real understanding of people's needs. We know we are our own target market, but our gut instincts on what to provide has been informed by the local families whom we've met in the last 18 months.
Amy is a EYFS teacher with two children and has had experience in management within retail. She is passionate about offering different types of play for children to really engage with and is constantly researching this subject like a proper play nerd.
She has two children of her own, one of whom has severe food allergies. A key element of all of our events to date is offering an inclusive menu and being attentive to dietary requirements, in part because Amy's had to deal with the restrictions you're inevitably faced with when your child has allergies.
Amy is passionate about building a unique, fun, creative, safe and welcoming space where children and their families have the chance to have quality time together, eat great food and make new friends. She has had many a day when she would have loved a space like this to visit with her own family.
Zoe's background is in media and event management. She spent a decade working at the coal face of the BBC's national music radio networks before changing direction and running her own successful events business and programming events for prestigious members club Soho House.
Zoe has lived in York with her family for five years and she currently programmes and manages events at Spark: York.
Zoe wants to enrich people’s everyday lives with joyful experiences, regardless of their age. She is certain that Dinosaurs Love Fairy Cakes will do this for the families in York.
She is also a keen home baker and very interested in creating a menu that walks the line between being appealing to kids and not being entirely beige / orange.